Monday, May 10, 2010


I’ve always read that no on site landscape painter enjoys painting on a windy day. I know some that will sit and paint in their vehicle in the rain or snow. But wind…that will have them running for the comfortable confines of the studio and a nice still life. Perhaps I should have followed their lead. This past Saturday saw the leading edge of a very windy cold front come through Long Island, NY at about mid-day. In fact, the real reason I went out to paint at all was that we lost our electricity as soon as the wind began to blow. We ended up being without electricity for 31 hours!

I had heard earlier in the week from a friend who works at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory which is located directly across the street from last week’s painting and blog subject entitled “Saint John’s Church”. The CSH Lab sprawls over many picturesque acres of what, years ago, was referred to as Bungtown. A bung hole is the hole in a watertight cask or barrel and a bung is the plug or stopper. Cold Spring Harbor was a whaling village in years past and Bungtown was the capitol of bung manufacturing.

My friend Sandy had told me that there were many nice views to be had at the end of Bungtown Road and she did not exaggerate. I managed to get myself set up in the lee of a large group of trees so that the 30-40 MPH gusts of wind were not too much of a factor.

If you read my blog regularly then you know that I always learn some valuable lesson every time I paint on site. This week the lesson was that if you set up in the lee of a stand of trees the sun will eventually drop below said trees casting shadows on your painting which will annoy you. As a result I had to keep inching my easel out from behind the relative comfort of the trees and into the teeth of the cold wind. I have a fairly high tolerance for physical discomfort coupled with a work ethic that compels me to finish any job I’ve begun. I gritted my teeth and soldiered on.

I was beginning to debate whether or not I was near to being finished and, quite frankly, my flinty resolve was beginning to crumble. At this point nature intervened by lifting my palette out of my very sturdy Soltek easel and carrying it twenty feet to my right, dropping it face down in the sandy path.

Painting session over.